The European Commission (EC) Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has published an opinion on the nano-form of zinc oxide (ZnO). The document states that, 'on the basis of available evidence...the use of ZnO nanoparticles with the characteristics as indicated...can be considered not to pose a risk of adverse effects in humans after dermal application'.
In its conclusions, the document reports that 'there is no evidence for the absorption of ZnO nanoparticles through skin and via the oral route', and that 'even if there was...continuous dissolution of zinc ions would lead to complete solubilisation of the particles in the biological environment'. As such, 'the use of nano ZnO in cosmetic products should not pose a risk to the consumer in the absence of a significant systemic exposure'.
The review did highlight that the conclusions could only be drawn for nanoparticles with the characteristics described. Furthermore results indicated that 'the use of ZnO...which may result in inhalation' is of concern.
Commenting is available on this opinion - all submissions are due by the 22 October 2012.